Bad Press, Bad Science (?), Bab

If I was the sort to decide on New Year’s resolutions, then one would have been making a concious effort not to get upset about this sort of thing:

Why it may be better not to speak up if you’re a Brummie – BBC NEWS

“The study, which matched accents with perceived intelligence, found speaking in a Birmingham accent gives a worse impression than saying nothing at all.”

Lazy headlines, lazy articles, easy shots – at least for once it doesn’t seem that it’s just a press release form an insurance company (or similar) – Let’s look at the evidence, or lack thereof:

  • 48 people were involved in the study, do you think 48 is a particularly large number, the sort that might extrapolate well to making generalisations on the population of Britain (60M?) as a whole?
  • No-where that I can find are the methods or the details of the study available – I’ve emailed Dr Lance Workman so I’ll see what happens.

I don’t think I’m alone in just being fed up to the back teeth of this coming up every six months or so, in different forms. People do it because the media fall for it every time, each local area can have its own story, they’ve got their contributors lined up, they can pop out and do a few voxes without travelling far from their newsrooms.

It’s the casual prejudice – that is furthered by the light hearted reporting – that gets me, would a similar survey based on race, gender, religion or sexuality be treated as a laugh?

Looks like we may need TLABD08 then.

Paul Groves isn’t too hot on the thing either

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